Friday, January 11, 2008

Here's our guy Ron Paul...

In case you missed it, there's an early 90's era newsletter making the rounds from Ron Paul (most likely written by one of his subordinates) that doesn't make Ron-o look too good.


This sounds about right for the casually bigoted remarks I recall from living in the greater Houston area about that time.

Paul's defense?

"Libertarians are incapable of being a racist, because racism is a collectivist idea."



J.S. said...

My favorite theme of Ron's is that we need to take the oversight for all education out of the hands of the federal government and return it to the states and to parents. If the federal government had never gotten involved in education, then Mississippi would still have racially segregated schools with a bunch of students in attendance who had never heard the words "evolution" or "Darwin". I also like Ron's plan to abolish the EPA and to rely on the lawsuits of property owners in order to enforce environmental protection laws. Who am I gonna sue when my air quality sucks and it's being polluted by a hundred different factories that are hundreds of miles away, Ron? And does the average farmer know how to test for mercury in his soil or groundwater? Are property owners educated enough to even be on the lookout for contaminants that bring about birth defects a generation later? And what happens to Ron's love of personal liberty when it comes to a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion? Isn't the liberty to decide what's happening within your own body a pretty important personal freedom? Ron Paul is a nut. He's an interesting nut, but he's a nut.
And by the way, I'm not saying Ron is or isn't a racist, but I'm with the League in being extremely skeptical about the idea that you can simply apply a definition to yourself and become insulated against the possibility of racism. He might as well have said, I'm a good person, and good people are incapable of racism. Unconvincing.

Anonymous said...

So are you suggesting that Racists are good people, Steanso?

Oh my gosh, you are a big government liberal and you disagree with Ron Paul!!! What a shocker!!

But, yeah, it's not "just convenient" that you don't believe him about the racist newsletters.

Steanso, your comments seem sympathetic to racists. Are you a racist? Prove you aren't, because your words say differently - and unlike Paul, you added your byline directly to them.

The League said...

"anti-hate", we don't really support that line of dialog here at League of Melbotis. We recognize it for what it is, and dismiss it as poor reasoning, ab absurdo argumentation, and making you look like a reactionary tool. That sort of thing might do well on talk radio, but it's not going fly here.

I'm calling you out, anti-hate, to put together a coherent argument that addresses Steanso's points, defends your own and doesn't rely upon illogical name-calling and character defamation that readers of this blog know to be untrue.

If you have something intelligent to say, say it. If you have viable sourcing for your arguments, and can support your statements, fine. Otherwise, take a hike.

Secondly, Steanso, I'd have liked to have kept this related to the institutionalized racism of East Texas and/ or the illogic of Paul's defense. I'm not saying I disagree or know what you're talking about, but if I've got to call out "anti-hate" here, I've got to give you a wag of the finger.

Anonymous said...

anti-hate, your post makes no sense.

re-read Steanso's post. then think about. then think about it some more. then if you have something intelligent to say besides calling names post it.

maybe you should also choose a different anonymous name. for someone who calls themselves anti-hate, your post doesn't seem to reflect that. i recommend going with just hate.

or be a real man or woman, and identify yourself like the rest of us do.


Steven said...

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," Barbara Bush said in an interview on Monday with the radio program "Marketplace." "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway," she said, "so this is working very well for them."

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Have some faith, Steanso.

I'd bet you that the average farmer does know how to test his soil for mercury, as it affect their livelihood, just as I bet you know how to appropriately interpret the law, as it affects yours.

Just because you do not want to invest the time or attention to understand policy issues beyond soundbites and talking points, doesn't mean everyone else feels the same.

JAL said...

I've deleted my previous post. Thank goodness, my livelihood does not rely on proper use of grammar.

J.S. said...

All I was saying is if you want to defend yourself against being a racist, you should look at your feelings toward people of other races and see what category your feeling put you into, not try to define yourself in with a group of people that you believe to not be racists, just to exclude yourself from racism by way of definition. Ron Paul tries to defend himself against racism by saying that he belongs to a group of people (libertarians) who are not racist by virtue of the fact that, as a group, they hold a set of values that doesn't allow them to be racist. It's like someone holding up their membership card for the Democratic party and saying they couldn't possibly be a racist because they are a Democrat, and that Democrats believe in equality and civil rights for all people. A card carrying Democrat could put forward such an argument while wearing a white hood and standing next to a burning cross on someone's front lawn (or more realistically, while overlooking people of a different race to be interviewed for a job opening just because it might make that person "more comfortable" to work with someone who is white).
Paul is using inductive reasoning (assuming that the general rules for the group must necessarily apply to the individual), but inductive reasoning is not logically sound (it can be helpful in indicating what a correct answer might be, but it doesn't produce logical certainty).

The real interesting thing in what Paul is saying here is that libetarians don't engage in racism because it's a form of collectivism (i.e., judging individuals and ascribing certain characteristics to them on the basis of membership within a a certain class or group of people that is purported to share those characteristics). But Paul's very defense is predicated on collectivism- the very fact that he belongs to a certain class of people, and therefore should deserves to have attributed to him the characteristics of that group (i.e., libertarians, who Paul defines as not being racist because they don't engage in collectivism). The logic is circular. The snake eats its own tail. Problem is, maybe he's not really a true libertarian (he has a lot of libertarian viewpoints, but he's also pro- life), or maybe he's a libertarian who doesn't really adhere to all of the viewpoints of the party (which would allow for racism, even though libertarians, as a group, are not necessarily thought of as racist).

Anyway, I'm not saying Ron Paul is a racist. I'm just pointing out the fact that his defense is weak. But I think his logic is often weak when subjected to critical analysis.

Still, Paul's an interesting guy.

P.S.- anti-hate, I sure hope I'm not a racist. I try to judge people as individuals all of the time, but I'm also wary of falling into the trap of making generalizations. Generalization is the habit of lazy minds, but I think it's a habit that you always have to be on guard against sliding into. That's why it annoys me when I hear people flippantly say that they know they're not racists just because they belong to a class of people who would never be racist. Racism precedes classification.

Man, I've rambled a lot. I should get a blog or something.

J.S. said...

JAL, I just have a hard time believing that the average property owner is going to be on the lookout and able to protect against enviromental hazards whose source may be hard to detect and whose effects may not even be felt for a generation or so (I'm not talking about just killing crops, I'm talking about slowly contaminating the people who eat them).

And I'm glad you have so much faith in the American voting populace. To me, they're the people who vote against a decorated military veteran when they see a swiftboat attack ad (which still astounds me, given the fact that our president was all but MIA during his term of military reserve "service") or change their vote to support Hillary because she eeked out a tear during a last minute stump speech. I'm not saying voters are all to be rounded up and put in camps or anything, but I'm just saying that we should be realistic when we ask ourselves why political campaigns and their media coverage seem so ridiculous.

JAL said...
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The League said...

For the record, I don't think voters are idiots. I think people are. It's why I live by the laws as described in Planet of the Apes.

From the twentythird Scroll, ninth Verse.

'Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust or greed.
Yes, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him. Drive him back into his jungle lair: For he is the harbinger of death'.

JAL said...

Here’s my take on political apathy:

I feel that the apathy is a direct result of frustration.

You know what intelligent people* hate more than anything, they hate being told what to do and how to think. It goes against the very nature of free will.

*I'm going to make the generalization that everyone who's reading this blog is intelligent.

I don’t think people don’t care or don’t want to invest time learning how the issues affect them, they feel powerless.

The problem is with the politicians and their hypocrisy. Those jerks are always trying to tell us the way we should live. The only people as annoying as the Republicans are the Democrats and vice versa. Both those groups think they know what’s best for me.

At least Ron Paul and Barak Obama are getting people excited and empowering them with hope for change.

The League said...

I have to agree with JAL on this one, to an extent. Ron Paul is mobilizing people, and (I just thought of this) one wonders if the surfacing of the letter at this time was not a political ploy by a rival. Such is the nature of politics.

Believe me, I did look at Ron Paul. Too many people who I would actually listen to like the guy. And while I respect their opinion, I suspect I am a bit too cynical to agree with enough of his stances to get my vote. But I think I get why he has a following, which is more than I can say about most candidates.

As per Barack Obama: I am still waiting to hear something akin to a plan, and something to really get behind. But his energy is attention grabbing and his optimism genuine, and I am sure that is why he continues to be newsworthy and popular.

Anonymous said...

I think the thing most attractive thing about Ron Paul to frustrated, educated, and interested citizens is that he is not beholden to special interests, earmarks and pork for the sake of pleasing constituents and serving his own re-election. He is not into getting elected for his ego, or for what HE thinks HE can do for the American people. People like the idea that he has stood by his principles of limited government intrustion into our lives, a peaceful foreign policy, pro individual, pro privacy, pro constitutional protections from an ever growing, ever money needy federal government.

All of his ideas are not great, in fact some may not even be feasible or desirable, but his core principles which have proved true through his voting record, are what attracts people.

Citizens who are tired of the same old politician, Democrat or Republican, they are really the same in that they are in it to perpuate the norm which allows them both to stay in power without providing really much reform or relief to its citizenry on major issues, and continuing to make wealthy its largest supporters.

A vote for Ron Paul is a middle finger to these two sides who just don't understand that we the frustrated working educated voter is tired of their shtick, and we aren't voting for them anymore.

Quit spending our money without solving any problems.

And yes, I will vote for Ron Paul because although I am not on board with everything he says, I believe he has seen the little man behind the curtain and wants to expose him, and that makes him a patriot in my eyes and a revolutionary. Or should I say, rELOVutionary.

Go get'em you crazy little racist bastard ! (j/k, I know he's not racist. Nor a bastard. and only a fox !)


The League said...

Well said, Peabo. No, seriously.

Anonymous said...

One Nevada brothel owner has even offered customers backing Paul two women for the price of one.

From here

The League said...

Peabo is in excellent company.

J.S. said...

I hear you, and I agree that Paul is a man of principle, but I don't think that the man could realistically implement many of his policies as president. As a vote of dissent, a vote for Ron Paul may send a message, but beyond that I just don't think it gets you much. I DO applaud him for remaining free of entanglements with lobbying groups and special interests, though. That's a huge accomplishment these days in Washington.